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Hola, M. Barbero found.   You are logged in as Guest
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Gregr

 

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
 

Hola, M. Barbero found. 

Hiya, kids.
I recently acquired a Marcello Barbero Flamenco guitar that has had a hard life. The neck block is marked Ministries 6 Madrid. The paper label is missing after being left out in a rain storm. Heck, folks have been know to loose their Stradivarius!
There are several cracks on the face and sides. Some very old repairs visible inside have failed so it's in need of a lot.
A local Luthier suggested replacing the top . While the top is off the damage to the sides can be addressed. He seems comfortable doing a French finish on the replaced top.
The 6th string tuning handle is missing. He suggested replacing the tuners.
I don't mind spending a princely sum to have it repaired but I am starting the interview process of prospective repair shops.
So far when I open the case jaws drop...that's kinda neat.
Anyone can recommend a repair master in the So West US?
Thanks, Greg
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2012 20:02:01
 
Escribano

Posts: 6322
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

quote:

The paper label is missing after being left out in a rain storm


Shame.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2012 20:22:02

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

You'd be surprised at how many people leave their Barbero guitars out in the rain.

How about some photos?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2012 20:34:20
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

quote:

A local Luthier suggested replacing the top . While the top is off the damage to the sides can be addressed. He seems comfortable doing a French finish on the replaced top.


Don't do that. Stop right now. This is the not the right person to do the work. Should this be an authentic Barbero you need to have it authenticated by an expert first. Even if if is damaged to your eyes to an expert restorer it may be fixable. Since there is no label you must have it authenticated by a person who's reputation is very high.

The top is the most essential part in an original old Spanish guitar, do not replace the top.

Contact Richard Brune' in Evanston Ill. with pictures. He is a person who can authenticate a Barbero who's word will be taken seriously by everyone. To do any work first could ruin the instrument forever.

If you replace the top and you have no label you will have a worthless messed up guitar. If an expert who is recognized authenticates it you will have a Barbero.

R.E. Brune,
800 Greenwood Street,
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Phone number: (847) 864-7730
Fax number: (847) 864-8022

contact@rebrune.com

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2012 22:06:06
 
Gregr

 

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Thanks for the reference.
I had 2nd and 3rd thoughts when the guy suggested replacing the top. He was dead sure it's a real Barbero though.
I'm not in a hurry to get it butchered so I'll do a lot of leg work before I commit.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 0:00:20
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

We would love to see pictures when you figure it out.

If it has no label and a person like Brune' gives you a paper, a description with his written opinion that is is authentic, that will help make up for the lack of label. Many of us could say yep it's a Barbero, but you need a well recognized person or group of people to back it up. Eugene Clark or Jeff Elliot would be others who could give good opinions.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 0:25:13
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Replace the top??? Ugh
If you pay him to re-top it, your basically just buying one of his guitars, as it will no longer be a Barbero.
A mangled Barbero, is still a Barbero at least; don't let that silly bugger touch it.
Take it to Brune', find out what you have, and weigh your options; his advice will be priceless. If you can't afford a proper restoration right now, take good care of it till you can, or sell it, but don't let some hack butcher it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 4:57:42
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

You bought a "Marcelo Barbero" without a certificate of its authenticity?

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 10:05:46
 
aarongreen

 

Posts: 367
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Hi
Definitely do not replace the top. There is a Barbero I saw at auction that had the top replaced (in the 70's) and it is pretty much worthless.

For what it's worth, my restoration partner and I have done some very high end and large jobs including Hauser I, Fleta, Bouchet, Barbero etc. The Hauser was a particularly successful and difficult restoration. I also have been the caretaker and recently sold the famous 1951 Sabicas Barbero so this is a maker I am very familiar with and near and dear to my heart.

If you wish to contact me my email is aarongreenguitars@gmail.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 11:51:28
 
Gregr

 

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to XXX

Well, actually I was given the guitar as a gift.
I post it here because their seems to be some shared enthusiasm between owners and players.
I'm a terrible player but have some nice instruments and some fine players can't afford a Kay!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 13:57:06
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

I was not sure if Mr. Green wanted me to mention him, but now that he has spoken up himself, he is exceptionally qualified.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2012 22:32:09
 
aarongreen

 

Posts: 367
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Thank you Mr. Faulk, much appreciated and the check is in the mail.:)

Looking forward to the pics


I am expecting a visit from an old friend with a very nice late Barbero (late meaning 53 to 55, I can't remember). I haven't seen it in many years but I recall it being a good one. It's got my favorite Barbero rosette, the one with the black and red that looks like something Harley Davidson would have come up with if they were a genius Spanish guitarmaker named Barbero.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2012 0:52:23
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13342
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to C. Vega

quote:

ORIGINAL: C. Vega

You'd be surprised at how many people leave their Barbero guitars out in the rain.

How about some photos?


Yeah...there seems to be so many barberos missing labels that owners just so happen to leave in the rain or dumpster or pawn shop etc. I once did see a destroyed 1950's sobrinos de Esteso bought at a yard sale, but it had to be seriously restored and was hardly an esteso after that job. My bets are that it ain't a real barbero.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2012 13:31:23
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to aarongreen

quote:

Thank you Mr. Faulk, much appreciated and the check is in the mail.:)


Happy to be on your payroll sir.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2012 17:29:06
 
Gregr

 

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to aarongreen

quote:

the black and red that looks like something Harley Davidson would have come up


yUP, THAT'S THE ROSETTE.
I hate cap lock.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2012 1:53:37
 
attila57

 

Posts: 51
Joined: Oct. 27 2012
From: Budapest, Hungary

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Hey Greg,

Consider first carefully before you take the next step with that guitar. I've already made a few mistakes with rushing into things that I regretted later.
Personally, I think you've received a stack of problems with that guitar. It's OK if you're a collector but I think your time & energy should be spent wiser than investing them into something rather risky.

First take the instrument to a real expert, specialized in that particular builder's guitars. He should be able to tell if it's real stuff or not from little things like purfling samples, hidden pencil marks and lots of other small signs - often seen only under a magnifying glass or a microscope. The process is much like establishing the identity of on old painting. We guitarists tend to believe in labels, but then labels are not very difficult to remove, replace or manipulate.

If the guitar turns out to be real thing then the expert (or maybe another one) has to be able to assess if it's worth redoing it (or not, because no decent result can be expected). If he says it's worth, than you must consider the costs; whether you are really prepared to pay anything up to thousands of dollars for an instrument that in the end may not sound the way you've imagined.

Replacing the top would make the instrument worthless as an 'antique piece'. So would the tuner replacement. A matching peg stem has to be found somehow, or a new stem custom made from appropriate material. The tuner knobs have to be examined and restored - if it's possible. If not, the original ones heve to be copied from quality material. As I've just said, you may not be able to play the instrument, even after very careful - and very expensive - expert restoration, because the damaged and repaired top might not be able to withstand the future stresses of vigorous playing. Or - after removing the scratches and the dents the top might be too thin and unsuitable for general use. Visually almost everything can be done with the top so nobody would notice anything on it. But if it becomes too thin then that's the end of it.

On the other hand, if it turns out to be a fake or a cheaper instrument, but with good prospects soundwise, there's no reason why the top shouldn't be changed. A properly done new top can sound better, especially if the internal structure of old wood has already suffered irreversible changes due to age or other influences, like weather, humidity etc.

All these factors and more have to be considered very seriously before deciding on the further step or touching the instrument. The graveness of the damage has to be seen, of course, to be able make any judgement about it.

Therefore if I were you, the least thing I'd worry about would be the label. I'd rather channel my extra energy in playing more music. After all, that's why guitars are around, isn't it?

Attila
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2012 3:31:40
 
attila57

 

Posts: 51
Joined: Oct. 27 2012
From: Budapest, Hungary

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

Hi Greg,

I'm back to you because of your 'found Barbero'. I think, you don't fully realize that you've entered a very slippery area this time. I've been doing repairs for some years and I have an opinion to tell you, if you don't mind reading it.

1. Without the signed, original label you can never be 100% sure if it's a real Barbero or not. One has doubts even with a visibly untouched label because, as I've already told you, labels can be manipulated. An independent expert's strong positive opinion and a signed, untouched, original label together can only assure people about the identity of an old instruments. Even then, it's nice to have, for example, the master luthier's original notes or book entries that clearly refer to the instrument in question. Without the label, the expert can convince himself and you about the originality, but a prospective buyer will always have some doubts.What I want to tell you is that whatever you do, if you want to sell the guitar later, its value will be lower than what you would expect or indeed, quite low, depending on the quality of the repair work done. You must consider that when you're about to invest your money in it.

2. I cannot assess the likeliness of the originality of your guitar, but I've already seen 'Rolex' watches for $200 that looked like real, weighed like real and even ticked like real and, you were offered original-looking documents with them, too...

3. If your Barbero turns out to be original (-1% doubt), and you choose to invest a fortune in its repair, for an expert it will still be just a suspicious, repaired instrument with a lower value. If your prospective buyer is serious and gets a decent expert's advice, he'll tell him the truth and you won't be able to sell the guitar for as much as you've invested in it. So I think it wouldn't be worth selling the repaired instrument.

3. I suspect it wouldn't be worth selling it now either, because only expert luthiers are ready to buy such an instrument, and they wouldn't pay you a good price because they would have to work a lot with it to be able to realize some profit on it.

4. So keeping it seems to be an obvious choice. If you're about to do this, it's OK, but you must decide what to do with it. You have two choices: either you hang it on the wall or put it in a case and say 'I have a real Barbero' or you have it repaired in such a way that you'll be able to play it.

5. If you want to hang it on the wall, or keep it like a museum object, then it's a reasonable idea to have it restored to a condition that's structurally and visually as close to the original as possible. In this case you must get a reputable, expert luther to do the job. His quality work, his name and his inscription would definitely increase your instrument's value. After all, a reputable luthier is supposed to work only with quality instruments! In this case you should get ready to pay him a fortune, because your badly broken and presumably inexpertly repaired top, plus the usual things on such a worn instrument would give him a lot of work for some time. But you must bear in mind that if in the future you decided to sell it for some reason, you wouldn't be able to get back your investment. It'd be more precious to you than to anyone else.

6. And what if you want to take it off the wall to play it? It would happen when, in the end, you realized that a guitar's only value lies in its sound. Then you could perhaps find that your visually beautiful, French polished top doesn't not 'sing' the way you've imagined. Perhaps it would not come up to your expectations or investment because of some reasons detailed below. In this
case you could hang it back on the wall and whenever you looked at it, it'd make you feel uneasy and frustrated. Or you could put it back to it's case and forget all about it - this way you wouldn't feel the frustration. Or you could wait until someone would be willing to buy it for small bucks.Who would want to buy an expensive guitar with a dull tone?

7. On the other hand, the restored top could even sound OK - you'd have a chance - and in this case you'd be a clear(?) winner of course.

8. But still, even if you had a nice tone, playing a lot of flamenco on a restored top that had been badly damaged is not advisable. You would want to do all sorts of things on that top, slap it, tap it with golpes all the time - these things can wear out even a new, strong top fairly quickly. Plus the rasgueos! Flamenco tops vibrate, man! And vibration could work apart the wood fibres of your nicely reglued top in time or open new cracks on the manipulated top right next to the reinforcing patches glued inside. A reglued top needs to be refinished, and, as a consequence, it loses some of its thickness. That's what you'd least want, I think, in this case.

9. So, if you really want to keep and play that instrument, it may be a good solution to put a new top on it. It'd definitely last longer, you could tap on it as you like and possibly, it would sound better, too. You must understand that old topwood is not always an advantage, especially with guitars that were allegedly left out in the rain. Lignin (wood material) can get cracky in time along its fibrous structure or can even become like a compressed powder that falls to pieces when stressed. It often happens to old instruments.Even if the 'tired' wood holds structurally, the sound of such tops may be compromised. The only
way to make these instruments playable is to make a new, matching top, preferably from selected seasoned wood that's similar in age and character to the original wood.The wearout of flamenco guitar tops is quicker than that of classical guitar soundboards, because of the stronger vibration that can separate cell walls in dead wood and line up lignin particles in an undesirable structure. The result is a dampened, dull sound due to the loss of flexibility and to the changes in the texture of the wood. These effects are greater with cedar tops but happen to spruce tops, too.This is the price we have to pay for our rasgueos and golpes.

10. Giving a new top to your guitar would have a definite drawback, unfortunately. Because of changing a major part of it, it would stop being an original Barbero - if it has ever been - and, because the top is generally considered to be the soul of the instrument, it would stop being a Barbero at all, and therefore, it would lose its value as such - if it has ever had. In return
you're likely to get a better sound and the increased stability of the top - your guitar would be playable. (This might happen to you with the re-glued top, too, but your chances are smaller.) A lot depends on your playing style and on the playing style of the previous owners,too. If you're a 'topbuster' for instance, you could crack the re-glued, old top more easily. And just think: your predecessors might have played the soul out of that topwood already.

11. Making a new top is an expert job. If it's done properly, it'll heighten the value of your broken instrument and improve its acoustic properties. A good luthier considers lots of factors before deciding on materials, thicknesses, glue etc. With a well-done new top the instrument's original and existing acoustic faults can be partially corrected, too. I cannot emphasize too strongly the role of a good luthier here.

12. Now you perhaps understand why I told you in my earlier comment that you had taken a bag of problems with that guitar.

13. Perhaps these problems could all be solved with a different approach. Therefore I advise you have other things examined on your guitar, too, first of all the action, the fretboard and the neckset. If the setting of the neck (the neck's alignment) is inappropriate, that might as well be a (somewhat sad) solution to your problem, the end of the story. A gradually increasing misalignment of the neck is a common problem with old instruments, especially with badly-treated ones. This grave fault would be a factor that should weigh your final decision about the instrument's future. It's a lot of work and therefore it's very expensive to correct a bad neckset (people call it a curved neck). You would need a new, custom-made fretboard with a negative slope built in it, or possibly the whole instrument should be taken apart and reassembled. If additional neckset problems do exist, I wouldn't go into it any deeper with that guitar if I were you.

14. In any case, you must be familiar with the terms and the posibilities of the guitarmaking trade to be able to decide on your future action. I strongly recommend you read 'Guitar Player's Repair Guide' by R.D. Erlewine, Backbeat Books, San Francisco 1990,1994. It's available on the Internet, too. That way you'll get to know what you can expect and what you'd be charged for before you take any steps with your 'found Barbero'.

Attila 'the Hun'
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2012 23:28:27
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

I like the short answer better
Take it to Mr. Brune' or Mr. Green and find out what you have. If it's a Barbero they can assess the damage, and tell you what would be involved in having it fixed and the cost.

Re-topping is not worth consideration, at all.
If its a Barbero, re-topping is a definite no no.
If it isn't a Barbero, your better off just to buy another guitar; cheaper and less hassle then pointlessly having some no-name guitar re-topped.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2012 0:59:36
 
Gregr

 

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
 

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to attila57

aTTLIa
That's certainly a key board full of thoughts.
I've gone by Guitar Salon in Santa Monica and showed some pics to one of the Associates. He seems to be inclined to think it was Barbero. I took the camera on the Motorcycle because it's a 35 mile lane split from where I live to the beach.
I'll take the guitar in the car after I make a appointment to see him again.
The Salon is not the run of the mill shop to say the least but indicate the most.
They did have a peg head Barbero I got to see.
If the Salon can authenticate the origin then I can proceed with finding a repair shop that can do some justice to what is left of it.
As for playing the death out of it, that's already happened. I'm looking for something more akin to stuffing Trigger so you can see the glory of what was.
This will be like still using chipped Waterford Crystal to drink pedestran wines. It will be a shadow of what was a wonderful guitar played in the Willy Nelson style!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2012 15:37:23
 
attila57

 

Posts: 51
Joined: Oct. 27 2012
From: Budapest, Hungary

RE: Hola, M. Barbero found. (in reply to Gregr

I have a luthier friend who - very much like you - got a beautifully made, ca. 150-year-old rosewood classical guitar as payment for a repair job. So far it's been impossible to identify its maker. The instrument is badly damaged: badly cracked sides, back & top, partially missing shell-mastic inlay, neck out of alignment, worn frets, broken head, earlier inexpertly done top repairs, etc. He decided to restore it to its original condition.

He's been working on it, on and off, for about two years, and it's still far from ready. He's doing it for himself, in his 'free' time, so he doesn't have to pay a fee. He says, it would be quite impossible to charge anyone for the amount of work already invested in it, because nobody would pay that much for the instrument. I'd say, it's a typical story...

I just hope your story turns out better. Good luck!!!

Attila
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2012 23:48:10
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